Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Kenny Kays has nerves of steel for he has waited for me very patiently for over a month to get together and tell me about a wonderful program the Graysville school in Sullivan County is starting for the kids. From me working over time and weather laden with tornadoes, along with no electricity at home.
Harold Williams, Tiffany Migliorini, Jamie Crowe, Courtney Bugaiewitz, and Jeanne Baker are certified instructors for the NASP program, along with Doug Hathway and Kenny Kay are volunteers to help. I’m sorry you are wondering what NASP stands for it is National Archery School Program.
In March, 985 kids participated in the state championship. Forty seven schools went to it and 27 went to the nationals with 531 kids. From the nationals 100 to 150 kids will be going to the World Tournament in October in Orlando, Fla., from four to six schools. In the state shoot off, one boy one girl from each grade school, middle and high, total of six kids. As of now there are 170 schools in Indiana in the N.A.S.P. program. They are talking about having qualifiers for the state next year.
The program is oriented to many different aspects of archery associated with school. The kids have to have passing grades and good attendance to participate. There are many lessons to be learned from archery: self esteem and how to compete as a team as well as an individual. Many kids brought up their grades so they could become a part of the fun.
The kids take a day to travel and compete for their school, whereever it may be. It is a team event and many other individual types of awards such as high score, depending on the grade you’re in. The girls are equal with the boys and no matter your status in school everyone is treated equal. The team also competes for a spirit award which reflects there schools overall spirit.
The top boy and girl shooters in the state are also presented a new bow, which is a Genesis Bow specially built for the occasion.
About five years ago when this started in Indiana, there were only 160 kids, and the past season it has grown to 985 kids. What does that tell you about this program?
Remember your old school days, and you would have fought a grizzly bear with bare hands if you could get out of going to school. The kids in this program would fight a grizzly bear just to go to school to not miss an archery class or better yet to get in their extra credit.
Another great thing is some of the schools have been funded by charitable organizations oriented towards kids.
Tim Beck is the DNR representative for the Indiana NASP program. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Tim leads a large group of programs for the outdoors folks. He is a wonderful ally for us outdoor people, for he is dedicated to the cause and his team helps him look good. They are all dedicated.
This is not geared to any actual hunting for animals, but it teaches kids in so many aspects like, safety, self discipline, mental aptitude to coordinate several different functions all at one time. People don’t realize how hard it is to be so exact at something time after time.
To be able to compete in this sport with no tolerance for error, your mental capacity cannot tolerate drugs or alcohol.
We all have a calling in life with some being doctors, lawyers, a chef, professional bowler, or even an Olympic archer. If kids want to be serious about their archery, many people make a living at it. One gentleman earned $136,000 in one year, Kenny Kays tells me. Kenny is a wealth of information on this program, so feel free to e-mail him at email@example.com
We are fortunate this program is offered to schools, for it is a win situation for all.